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Top Ten Fantasy Rides

Welcome to our countdown of the top ten fantasy rides, where we list our favourite creatures to convey us into battle, or away from it. Pick you snail or pig, or dragon! But remember real dragons are arrogant, even if they agree to carry you.
Steve Dean Fantasy Rides
Fantasy Rides. Image: Grzegorz Rutkowski

Hello! Welcome to our countdown of the top ten fantasy rides, where we list our favourite creatures to convey us into battle, or away from battle, according to our current needs. If you were expecting a different type of fantasy ride, possibly with videos, you’ve come to the wrong place. Anyway, let’s get started before we go too far off course.

10. Great Pink Sea Snail

Steve Dean on Great Pink Sea Snail
Fantasy Rides: Great Pink Sea Snail. Drawing: Erin Cooper

I’m pretty sure riding the pink sea snail isn’t a euphemism, I don’t think they had those back then. Anyway, this huge snail, from the original Dr Doolittle, might be slow but it’s comfy and dry and there’s room for the whole family. It might get a bit squashed if the snail was attacked and pulled inside its shell with you, but I don’t think there’re many things such a huge creature would be scared off, except a giant thrush. 

9. War Pig

Steve Dean on War Boar
Fantasy Rides: War Pig.

We’re not just talking about any old pig, but a battle-trained war boar. Dain, king of the dwarves after Thorin Oakenshield, rode such a beast into battle during the war of the five armies at the end of the Hobbit. Not fast, but pretty much unstoppable and perfect for a wee dwarf. I’m not sure how you train a pig for war, maybe you don’t need to, some of those wild boar can be pretty nasty.

And after the battle, bacon! (What?) 

8. Giant Elk

Steve Dean on Giant Elk
Fantasy Rides: Giant Elk

Another one from The Hobbit. Thranduil is seen riding his elk, not sure if it had a name, a giant deer-type thing with antlers like trees. How he got it in and out of the stable I don’t know, nor how he rode it through Mirkwood. But a fast creature, great in battle and fit for a king. And after the battle, those antlers make great furniture. 

7. Hippogriff

Steve Dean on Hippogriff
Fantasy Rides: Hippogriff.

This one is a bit of a collector’s piece really, a limited edition for those who crave such things. Most recently seen carrying Harry Potter around, the hippogriff is half eagle and half horse. (for those of you confused, hippo means horse, as in hippodrome.) And no, I don’t know how an eagle mates with a horse, presumably with large quantities of alcohol, like humans do. Now, if it was half eagle and half tiger, or half eagle and half t-rex, it would be much cooler. It loses some kudos by having a horse’s arse dragging it down. 

6. Luck Dragon

Steve Dean on Luck Dragon
Fantasy Rides: Luck Dragon.

Ok, maybe not as frightening as a real dragon, but this guy is flying without wings! Which is a cool trick and would make a great song. Another advantage of riding a luck dragon is it won’t turn around and eat you when you land or accidentally burn your skin off when it sneezes. And real dragons are arrogant; even if they did agree to carry you, they’d drop you short of where you wanted to go or take you to the wrong place altogether. 

5. Lion

Steve Dean on the Narnia Lion
Fantasy Rides: The Narnia Lion. Image: Canvas Print

This one is pretty cool, I doubt you’d have any problems with road rage. “I cut you up? Come here and say that!” It would have to be a giant lion, like Aslan, but it would be cool turning up to work on him. “What? Oh, that’s Aslan, my lion. Got him on ebay.” The only problem is Aslan is a bit of a straight dude, you know? A bit of a stick where the sun don’t shine kind of fella. That’s a small price to pay, better than a car for sure. Good off-road, intelligent parking and he’s low emissions as well, just need a bucket and shovel for those. 

4. Chocobo

Steve Dean on Chocobo
Fantasy Rides: Chocobo. Image: Deviant Art

These birds are from the Final Fantasy series of games, used both as companions and mounts. I include these because of all the fantasy mounts, I think these are the most attainable. We just need someone, anyone, to do a bit of selective breeding with some ostriches, make them bigger, more robust, possibly more friendly, a few different colours, thicker feathers, and we’re done. Surely that’s not too much to ask. And ethically, people already ride ostriches, and humans did the same thing with horses, so we’re good, right? 

3. Unicorn

Steve Dean on Unicorn
Fantasy Rides: Unicorn. Image: Yuri Arcurs / Getty Images

This has got to be a favourite for many people, riding through the forest on a unicorn, curing illness and purifying water, ahh! It’s also fast and can run on any surface, including the air, which is useful if the bridge is down. It’s also just basically a horse, so they’re easy to care for with off-the-shelf products, just need a stable with a bit more headroom. The only drawback of course is it can only be ridden by virgins. This could be highly embarrassing if you’re parents are watching and it won’t let you ride it, or your friends are watching and it does let you mount up. Still, if you’ve got it, flaunt it, go ride that thing! 

2. Mumak

Steve Dean on Mumak
Fantasy Rides: Mumak. Image: Deviant Art

You might know them better as oliphaunts from Lord of the Rings, as named by Samwise. They’re actually giant elephants with more tusks. One for all the family here. At the weekend, leave the War Pig in the garage… pen, and head off to the coast on this beast. No trouble with traffic, just go off-road or push it out of the way. And no problem keeping the kids entertained, there’s room for a whole playroom. There are a couple of drawbacks. One is the food bill, imagine how many bananas and peanuts these big buggers can eat? And the other problem comes later, I don’t want to think about the size and quantity of the poo coming out of these things. 

1. Giant Eagle

Steve Dean about Giant Eagle
Giant Eagle. Image: Deviant Art

The eagles are coming, and we aren’t talking about a dodgy film made by a rock band! This is the coolest ride of all. Not just any giant birds, but eagles, magnificent creatures who can fly you anywhere you want to go. You want to go to the supermarket? You got it. (Make sure they drop you off in the car park, once I wasn’t paying attention and they left me on the roof! So funny.) You want to go to the top of Popocatépetl? It’s done. Want to go to the black gates and kill a few fell beasts? Well, hop on, because that’s where the action is. 

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